Razorbacks Ready for Chile Pepper Invitational
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas cross country team will host and compete in the 14th annual Chile Pepper Invitational Saturday, October 19. The university men’s race will start at 9:30 a.m., at the Razorback Cross Country Course at Agri Park. This meet will be their fourth of the season and one they have been looking forward to, despite the forecast of rain.
“I don’t think the rain will affect the outcome of the race,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “This will be our only chance to compete in adverse conditions, before going to nationals in Indiana where it will probably be cool.
“The competition this weekend is going to be great and I think that Abilene Christian will be tougher this weekend than they were at OSU,” McDonnell said. “At OSU our fifth man was behind their fourth and fifth guys, but with our training our fourth and fifth men are going to do better.”
Twelve Razorbacks will be running on Saturday including seniors Chad Grundy and Patrick Thomas; juniors Westley Alkin, All-Americans Alistair Cragg, Daniel Lincoln and Silverus Kimeli, Chris Mulvaney, Robbie Stevens; sophomore All-American Jason Sandfort; and freshmen Said Ahmed, Luis Bordes and Michael Taylor.
Cragg, Lincoln and Kimeli have all turned in first place finishes this season. Cragg captured the top spot at the OSU Jamboree on October 5, with a time of 23:53 and Lincoln claimed a title at the Missouri Southern Invitational on September 21, with a time of 23:55. Both earned SEC Athlete of the Week honors after their performances. Kimeli came in first (20:00) at the Arkansas Invitational on September 7.
Twenty-four teams will be joining Arkansas in the 10,000-meter race. Southeastern Conference rivals, Alabama and LSU; Big XII competitors from Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Nebraska; and Division II powerhouse Abilene Christian are sure to give the Razorback runners a challenge.
Other schools slated to compete are Baker University, Central Methodist College, Dana College, Drury, Evangel, Harding, Hastings, Southern Arkansas, Southern Nazarene, Southwest Missouri State, Alabama-Huntsville, UC-Irvine, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Texas-Arlington, UTEP and Wichita State.
After the Chile Pepper Invitational the Hogs will begin preparing for the SEC Cross Country Championships in Gainesville, Fla., on November 4. They will be vying for their 12th straight SEC title since joining the conference and their 29th consecutive league crown. Then the South Central Regional Championships in Waco, Texas on November 16, will be next on the Arkansas schedule, with the NCAA Championships following on November 19, in Terre Haute, Ind.
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